VAT margin schemes tax the difference between what you paid for an item and what you sold it for, rather than the full selling price.
You can choose to use a margin scheme when you sell:
- second-hand goods
- works of art
- collectors’ items
You can’t use a margin scheme for:
- any item you bought for which you were charged VAT
- precious metals
- investment gold
- precious stones
You buy a work of art for £1,500 and sell it for £2,000. Using a margin scheme, you pay VAT (at the standard rate of 20%) on the difference: £500. This means you’ll pay £83.33.
How to start
You’ll have to pay VAT on the full selling price of each item if you don’t meet all the scheme’s requirements.
There are special rules if you’re selling:
- second hand cars
- horses and ponies
- houseboats and caravans
- high volume, low price items - you can use the Global Accounting Scheme, a simplified version of the margin scheme